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MCPS Board of Education now features all women

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MCPS Board of Education now features all women

Graphic by Helen Qian

Graphic by Helen Qian

Graphic by Helen Qian

Hrithasma Pant, News Writer

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Following the election on Nov. 6, in which the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Education now comprises of all women—a first in the Board’s history.

The Board’s former President Michael Durso, who was the only male member of the previous Board, did not run for reelection. This left seven female candidates to compete for four open spots. Karla Silvestre defeated Julie Reiley for the Board At Large. Incumbent Judy Docca defeated Maria Blaeuer for District 1. Incumbent Patricia O’Neill defeated Lynn Amano for District 3. Brenda Wolff won unopposed for District 5.

The first Board, created in 1817, consisted of nine men. The first woman on the board was A. Dawson Trumble, appointed in 1920. In 1953, the Board adopted an election system and only two years later, the first woman was elected to the Board, Rose Kramer. Since elections began, 49 men and 30 women have been elected.

“Certainly it sends the message to all of our students, female and male, that women can do anything and are great leaders,” Jeanette Dixon, an At-Large board member, told Bethesda Magazine. “It is about electing the best person for the job and illustrates that we have come a long way as a society, as we never commented when organizations and institutions were all male in the past. This all-female board will be a natural progression of the work women have done as educational activists.”

This year’s Student Member of Board (SMOB), senior Ananya Tadikonda, is also female, one of only eleven female SMOBs since 1978.

“I am very proud of Montgomery County for moving so progressively towards equal representations in our elected officials,” Tadikonda said. “I believe this is a huge step forward to ensuring all perspectives are brought to the table when discussing issues.”

Several of the candidates ran on campaigns to expand early childhood education, close the achievement gap, and increase transparency. Tadikonda hopes that the increased female representation will allow the Board to emphasize important issues.

“I believe issues including the dress code and consent education will come to more light as the perspective of the Board has now completely changed with all women members,” she said.

Several RM students also believe that the all-woman Board will bring positive changes.“It is a great way to inspire other women stepping into leadership roles,” sophomore Anh Tran said.

1 Comment

One Response to “MCPS Board of Education now features all women”

  1. SpecialKinNJ on December 1st, 2018 6:03 pm

    Re closing the achievement gap
    ” . . .Several of the candidates ran on campaigns to expand early childhood education, close the achievement gap, and increase transparency. Tadikonda hopes that the increased female representation will allow the Board to emphasize important issues . ..”

    SAT performance in national samples of college-bound students –
    cream of the educational crop – is summarized in the table, below.
    It is evident that average SAT Critical Reading scores haven’t changed very
    much over a three-decade period ; and in some instances were slightly lower in
    2015 than in 1987 .

    SAT Critical Reading average selected years
    1987 ’97 2001 ’06 ’11 2015
    507 505 506 503 497 495 All students
    524 526 529 527 528 529 White
    479 496 501 510 517 525 Asian/Pac
    471 475 481 487 484 481 Amer Ind
    457 451 451 454 451 448 Mex-Am
    436 454 457 459 452 456 Puerto R
    464 466 460 458 451 449 Oth Hisp
    428 434 433 434 428 431 Black
    SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.
    (2012). Digest of Education Statistics, 2011 (NCES 2012-001), Chapter 2. SAT
    mean scores of college-bound seniors, by race/ethnicity: Selected years,
    1986-87 through 2010–11 (Note. 2015 data source: https://www.albert.io/blog/

    Given the investment of time, thought and resources devoted to improvement of
    educational programs and opportunity for all students over the last three
    decades, reliable data indicating no material change in average level of
    SAT-assessed reading abilities, suggest that the levels shown in the table are
    not likely to be meaningfully different for similar samples tested in 2050..

    While miracles can happen, it seems reasonable to conjecture that achievement
    gaps such as those shown above may be “here to stay” .

    Speaking of miracles, it would seem that Asian Americans have closed the achievement gap! How they managed to do it is the $64 question.

    In any event, perhaps someone will share the foregoing data-based assessment with
    school board members and ask them to account for the pattern involved.

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